Waqf inscriptions of Rey’s historic bazaar to be restored

May 26, 2020 - 18:56

TEHRAN – Two religious endowment (waqf) inscriptions of the historic bazaar of the city of Rey, southeast of Tehran, will be restored in the near future. 

The inscriptions, dating back to the Qajar-era (1789–1925), are written in Nastaliq, describing the endowment properties dedicated to the bazaar. 

A waqf or mortmain property, is an inalienable charitable endowment under Islamic law, which typically involves donating a building, plot of land, or other assets for Muslim religious or charitable purposes with no intention of reclaiming the assets.

A budget of 250 million rials (about $6,000) is needed for the restoration project, Mehr quoted Rey’s cultural heritage department director Amir Mosayeb Rahimzadeh as saying on Tuesday. 

Although the inscriptions have been maintained by the local people so far, better preservation should be planned for the future, he added. 

According to the act for endowment kept in the museum of Abd-ul-Azim (AS) holy shrine, the bazaar was built in Safavid era as commanded by Shah Tahmasb in order to facilitate purchasing foodstuffs by the people of the region.

Rey was one of the capital cities of the Parthian empire (3rd century BC–3rd century CE) and it was captured by the Muslim Arabs in 641 CE. During the reign of the Muslim caliph al-Mahdi in the 8th century, the city grew in importance until it was rivaled in western Asia only by Damascus and Baghdad.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Islamic writers described it as a city of extraordinary beauty, built largely of fired brick and brilliantly ornamented with blue faience (glazed earthenware). 

It continued to be an important city and was briefly a capital under the rule of the Seljuqs, but in the 12th century, it was weakened by the fierce quarrels of rival religious sects. 

In 1220 the city was almost entirely destroyed by the Mongols, and its inhabitants were massacred. Most of the survivors of the massacre moved to nearby Tehran, and the deserted remnants of Rey soon fell into complete ruin.

About 40 out of 197 historical sites of Rey are inscribed on the National Cultural Heritage list.


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